After working at Loblaws for eight months, Laura Roberge became a steward after she helped a co-worker with stat pay questions.
A union rep saw the potential in her, after she did in-depth research and brought the member's questions to the union’s attention. That was eight years ago and as Roberge said, “the rest is history.”
"I have helped my co-workers in many ways like fighting for their rights and making sure they are in a safe and positive workplace,” said Roberge, who works at Loblaws South Keys and took steward training.
Over the years, Roberge has handled a variety of members’ questions and issues, from ensuring they get properly paid and scheduled to standing by them if they face harassment, racism or bullying at work.
Part of her success has been her hard work.
"I am willing to go the extra mile and I thrive on challenges,” she said. "I come from a family of union reps of all levels. By engaging with our union, I get to learn new things everyday and by learning, I can help others. "When she is able to find a successful resolution for her co-workers, she is happy.
“I feel accomplished – it makes me feel good when I help people out,” she said. "It's just who I am.”
As a steward, she is active in various union initiatives, including quarterly meetings, pride, voting events and Joint Labour Management meetings.
She believes the union makes a big difference for the membership.
"The union helps fight for our rights as a whole for better wages, job security, human rights and equality for all,” Roberge said.